With no small argument to the incredulous of that first accursed fall of Adam

akhakbaz

Member
Persian
Hi
Would you please tell me what the highlighted part of the following sentence mean?I've found it in "Long Revolution" by Raymond Williams (page 24, para1)Here, Williams is outing Sydney on the comparison between works of Nature and works of Artists (Look out for alternative spellings!):

Neyther let it be deemed too sawcie a comparison to balance the highest poynt of mans wit with the efficacie of Nature: but rather give right honour to the heavenly Maker of the maker , who, having made man to his owne likeness,set him beyond and over all the workes of that second nature, which in nothing hee sheweth so much as in Poetrie , when with the force of a divine breath, he bringeth things forth far surpassing With no small argument to the incredulous of that first accursed fall of Adam, sith our erected wit maketh us know what perfection is , and yet our infected will keepeth us from reaching it.

Thank you.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    This paragraph seems to be 1400s or 1500s English. It is certainly not 1961 English written by Mr. Williams.

    Do you know the source of this paragraph?
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Here is my attempt to "translate" the words in bold:
    "With a significantly strong argument to those who doubt the story of Adam's fall from grace in the Book of Genesis".
    Taking the phrase "of that first accursed fall", I had to guess what element that phrase modifies:
    (1) "surpassing of...", (2) "argument of...", or (3) "incredulous of...". I chose (3).
    In modern language we expect "surpass" to be a transitive verb, so "surpassing" would make us ask "going beyond what?"
    But the Oxford English Dictionary shows the adjective (and sometimes adverb) "surpassing" with an absolute meaning: "that surpasses what is ordinary"
    (with no example later than 1884).
    Still, I am unable to fit this meaning into that of the surrounding paragraph.
    GreenWhiteBlue, do you have access to any exegesis of Sir Philip?
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    A couple of words seem to be missing, at least according to the version that I found:
    ...he bringeth things forth far surpassing her doings, with no small argument to the incredulous of that first accursed fall of Adam, sith our erected wit maketh us know what perfection is , and yet our infected will keepeth us from reaching it.
    "Long Revolution" by Raymond Williams - Google Search

    The missing words appear in Sidney's work, as found here:
    An apologie for poetrie. VVritten by the right noble, vertuous, and learned, Sir Phillip Sidney, Knight
    I assume "her doings" means the doings of nature.

    As for the title question, here's my attempt at rewording it:
    The fact that God inspires people to produce poetry, which surpasses the works of nature, gives us a powerful answer (rebuttal) to those people who do not believe in the fall of Adam [and thus in original sin].

    But I'm not at all sure about this wording.
     

    akhakbaz

    Member
    Persian
    A couple of words seem to be missing, at least according to the version that I found:
    ...he bringeth things forth far surpassing her doings, with no small argument to the incredulous of that first accursed fall of Adam, sith our erected wit maketh us know what perfection is , and yet our infected will keepeth us from reaching it.
    "Long Revolution" by Raymond Williams - Google Search

    The missing words appear in Sidney's work, as found here:
    An apologie for poetrie. VVritten by the right noble, vertuous, and learned, Sir Phillip Sidney, Knight
    I assume "her doings" means the doings of nature.

    As for the title question, here's my attempt at rewording it:
    The fact that God inspires people to produce poetry, which surpasses the works of nature, gives us a powerful answer (rebuttal) to those people who do not believe in the fall of Adam [and thus in original sin].

    But I'm not at all sure about this wording.
    Hi
    You are quite right about the missing words (my mistake!).
    You said you were outing Sydney.....;)
    Yes.I mean qouting:)
     
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